As Remote Working Becomes The Norm, Dubai-Based Letswork Aims To Offer Go-To Workspaces Outside The Office
Founded in 2018 by Omar AlMheiri and Hamza Khan, the startup enables its users to access and use on-demand workspaces, private offices, and meeting rooms.
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"Your office outside the office, across the UAE." That's how Dubai-based marketplace and membership platform Letswork describes the essence of its services. Founded in 2018 by Omar AlMheiri and Hamza Khan, the startup enables its users to access and use on-demand workspaces, private offices, and meeting rooms. Its offering has proved to be in demand post the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic, which has brought about one major shift in how traditional offices function- they're no longer restricted by space or geography.
"With remote working becoming a permanent aspect of millions of people's lives, we're enabling people to find and access affordable, flexible, and inspiring workspaces outside their home or office," AlMheiri notes. "Users can either sign up for a Letswork membership to come work from our partner network of over 100 workspaces across the UAE with a single pass. Or, they can browse, compare, and instantly rent offices and meeting rooms across the country on a pay-as-you go basis."
In addition to co-working spaces, Letswork also provides access to private offices and meeting rooms across business centers and hotels located in the UAE. It is a move that AlMheiri hopes will ensure that his startup capitalizes on a very specific area of the sharing economy. "We're digitizing the commercial real estate and hospitality sectors by connecting excess supply to demand," he says. "Our plan is to do what Classpass did to the fitness sector, and what Airbnb did for hospitality, but to the commercial real estate sector instead. We plan on building a global lifestyle brand that enables people to work from literally anywhere."
Omar Almheiri and Hamza Khan, co-founders, Letswork
Indeed, while Letswork's services are open to all, users who opt for a membership get to enjoy certain additional benefits. While access to all of Letswork's many workspace options is a highlight, they also get to avail unlimited Wi-Fi service and beverages at a given creative space, as well as reserve seating next to a power plug- no more worrying about the laptop running out of charge in the middle of a presentation!
Letswork's operational model seems to have held the company in good stead over the years. "Our business has grown strength to strength over the past two years of operation," says AlMheiri. "We're currently a team of 12 based between Dubai and India. We have grown to over 100 partner spaces in the UAE and having created a profitable business here, we plan on replicating our success in other markets in Q4 of 2021 and beyond."
But AlMheiri notes that all of this has been possible because the UAE, and the Emirate of Dubai in particular, has been open to the idea of new workplace solutions. And it's clear that there has been a need for new solutions owing to the many organizational shifts that have occurred over the past year. After all, a 2021 study by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology cites "team effectiveness across virtual and distributed environments" and "building cultures of agility and adaptability" as two of the top ten global workplace trends for 2021.
AlMheiri believes the UAE is the right place to do a litmus test of the ideas that cater to such trends spreading across the globe. "One of the key benefits of operating in Dubai has been the ability to trial our product in a forward-thinking environment with access to a global network," he says. "Dubai, as cheesy as it sounds, is a crossroads of the East and the West, and we have been able to use the city as a test-bed for our product, and give us an idea as to how it could be iterated in other markets."
Being a part of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund (MBRIF) accelerator program has also helped the startup with realizing its goals. "From the pitch practice sessions to the financial modelling workshops, we have benefitted massively from the expertise of the MBRIF team, the mentors, as well as the other startups," AlMheiri says. "Joining the MBRIF program happened at a very opportune time for us, as we are about to embark on a journey of taking our business out of our cocoon in Dubai, to the rest of the world." It thus looks like Letswork has an exciting road ahead of it- and the rest of us should be cheering it along the way. Carpe diem!